January 17, 2012

Sow's ears and silk purses.....

I'm not a prissy woman...anymore.  I'm not sure I ever was a real girly girl, but these days, I'm pretty far off the mark.  I see my little one struggling with similar issues that I have.  She's not a tomboy exactly but she's not into the prissy, everything pink and polka-dot theme, that a lot of the girls around here sport.  Not that she doesn't like it, I think it's just not her style.  Being in middle school she's surrounded by growing, changing kids on the verge of puberty. 

I'll be the first to say that her father and I were as close to being hippies without actually being hippies, as people can be.  We wanted as simple a life and family as we could create.  That, of course, got skewed somewhere down the road, but we did one thing right: a smart, fairly well-rounded child.  She is artistic, she knows who she is and what she likes and speaks for herself.  There are a lot of kids who aren't any of those things; not by their own fault by any means.  They just aren't raised with the same values.  Modern movies and TV make for great examples of what little girls are "supposed" to act like.  She is slowly finding out where she fits in the grand scheme of things.  It's a hard lesson some days. 

It's no secret that I don't like the school she goes to.  But, as much as I don't like the school or the neighborhood it's in, I am not so naive as to believe she wouldn't have issues where ever she is.  She's a "good" child.  She doesn't break rules, she's not an adrenaline junky, she doesn't like rocking the boat.  This is a great thing to parents and adults, I got $2.00 off her pedicure the other day because she sat there the whole time, didn't fuss, bitch, whine or fidget.  The owner loved her.  All those qualities are great until you're looking through the eyes of another child.  There are very few kids these days that are made to account for their actions.  Her father and I were strict on her from day one and I(we) remain so.  Not Mommy Dearest style strict, but strict enough that she knows:  the truth will always set her free, to break rules is wrong, to hurt people or animals is wrong, and true remorse is admirable. 

It bothers her, and I understand why.  Who wants to be called a "goody, goody", or "boring"?  She knows how to entertain herself and likes what she likes.  Her real friends are the same way.  There are plenty children who expect to be entertained to the Nth degree when they go to birthday parties, etc., because that's what their mama and daddy would do...the whole 9...fun jumps, pools, whatever it takes.  Not all of us make an offshore man's pay.  We make do with what we have and enjoy it.  To a middle schooler?  That's not something they want to broadcast.  They want to fit in or be noticed for something fun and interesting, not something that will get them picked on or chastised.   

I have a hard time these days living in this city.  It feels so different from when I moved here 17 years ago.  Maybe it is, or maybe I was so naive then that I never knew how pretentious this place could be. Or...maybe I was simply never this close to the people or the society.....I don't know.  All I know is, my heart hurts for her when she comes home and is exhausted from fighting inside as well as outside, struggling to fit in and not fit in all at once.  Even at my age, I know well how she feels, I'd love to own more than one pair of jeans that aren't destroyed, not have acrylic nails with grease under them, and to have time to "do lunch" in the middle of the week.  I take my moments when i can get them.   

I just keep telling her it won't last forever...I just wish someone would tell me that too sometimes....

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